Monotonous, marvelous motherhood

Ruby was huffing and puffing while she was helping clean up after dinner. I was also tired after a long day and was washing dishes while wishing I was able to sit down and rest. I reminded her to think long and hard before jumping into motherhood because most of motherhood is work. I know that there are a million blessings intertwined but to overlook the vast amount of work would not be smart. She didn’t say anything is response.

The work can be monotonous and yucky—like using your hand to wipe off nasty dishes from time to time. Or cleaning the dog’s throw up off the floor. And I can’t forget the gazillion nasty diapers I’ve changed or runny noses I’ve wiped. Plunging toilets. Wiping hard toothpaste out of the sink and more. Then, there’s just the regular stuff—making beds, driving kids to places, ordering school uniforms, wiping down counters, figuring out what to cook for dinner for the millionth time, folding laundry, sweeping the floors, paying bills, picking up random shoes or baseballs or notebooks or games scattered all around the house.

Sounds glamorous, right?

I know, no one goes into motherhood or family life for the fame and glamour. But that doesn’t mean moms don’t sometimes feel a little trapped in this monotonous work. The Lord reminds me often that this is an important work. My kids need me. My husband needs me. The hidden work is often where I’m being made. My inner thoughts are being sharpened and my character is being strengthened in these daily tasks I sometimes huff and puff at.

I am reading in Exodus and came across the section in chapter 28 about how to make the priest’s robe. It struck me as comical when God is describing the hem that He, first, gives an overview: “You shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet material, all around on its hem, and bells of gold between them all around:”

Ok. Sounds straightforward enough.

But then He adds in the next verse “a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe.”

And immediately I was struck my the monotony of that task. “A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate.” Wonder if the person assigned that task ever looked at someone hammering out gold or handling the jewels for the breastplate or making the laver and wish they had a little more exciting job?

But every person making any part of the holy garments and holy pieces for the Tabernacle were doing a holy work. God told Moses to speak to “all the skillful persons.” These were people “wise of heart,” my Bible clarifies…so they probably understood the magnitude of their job. The person or people making sure there was “a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe,” were making something for Aaron to wear “when he ministers; and its tinkling shall be heard when he enters and leaves the holy place before the Lord, so that he will not die.”

I’d say that’s a pretty important role! So I’m reminded that even (and maybe even especially) during monotonous work, I’m a part of ushering in the presence of God. The way I view these mundane tasks matters. God meets me here in the messes.

Lord, give me a heart of wisdom today in everything I put my hands to—the dishes, the toilets, the sweeping and mopping, the driving and drycleaning pick-up, dinner and every little interaction with those I love. Help me see this role the way You do. Amen.

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